Thursday, May 26, 2011

New York, New York

Mika Brzezinski

Wafa Sultan

I spent a few days in the Big Apple last weekend taking a course in HTML and web site management plus - yes - doing a bit of jobhunting. Summer is approaching and with it, opportunities to speak in various places. In fact, I'll be talking about intentional community and my book at 7 p.m. this coming Monday (Memorial Day) in Pittsburgh; specifically in Squirrel Hill at the Upper Room at 5828 Forward Ave. at Murray St.
New York, as it turns out, was freezing (while it was in the 80s in DC) but I sure enjoyed the consignment shops and incredibly rich culinary offerings in the East Village, which is where my friend, Betsy Pisik, was lodging me. We ate everything from Korean to western Chinese to Ukrainian fare - in 2 days!
While riding up (and back) on the majestic-but-cheap Boltbus, I got some really interesting reading done. One was "A God Who Hates: The Courageous Woman Who Inflamed the Muslim World Speaks Out Against the Evils of Islam," by Wafa Sultan, a Syrian psychiatrist who says Islam's problems are due to Islam's God. Read about it here and here. A lot of people find fault with Wafa but she brings up the hard questions that I've not seen Muslims answer very well. Questions about Mohammed's treatment and acquisition of his 13 or so wives, especially Aisha, with whom he had sex when she was a 9-year-old. Just the very thought of that - as he was 50 years old at the time - makes me want to lose my lunch.
I whipped through that book fast enough that I ended up at the Fifth Avenue Barnes & Noble buying Mika Brzezinski's "Knowing Your Value: Women, Money and Getting What You're Worth" which *really* got me going! She talked about being lowballed at MSNBC in terms of her salary being grossly disproportionate with that of her male co-host. Read about it here. IMHO, MSNBC does not come out well in her book, being that they were only too happy to offer her peanuts compared with men in the same positions who were raking in far more. One wonders: What *is* it about work places that see offering women less money than a man as second nature? What is it about work places that make the woman have to fight like crazy to get something close to parity? And any woman trying to get equal pay is labeled as 'difficult' and other words I will not use here.
Obviously the book struck a nerve with me, who has been underpaid all my career. Many of us in the Washington Times newsroom were beyond disgusted when we found out how top execs were making over $150,000 and, as far as we could tell, they were doing less work than we were. One top editor, who was rarely ever there, was raking in $225K. All this while we were upbraided by our bosses for asking for an extra $1,000 a year. I'd better not get started except to advise women who care about what they'd like to be paid for the rest of their lives to read this book. I would love to write something similar for the Christian market but I can just imagine the battles I'd fight getting that published.

1 comment:

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

You must be wrong, Julia. MSNBC is liberal and we all know how compassionate, fair-minded, tolerant and kind liberals are. And they are so busy fighting for the little guy! Surely Chris Matthews of tingle up the leg fame would never stand for the injustice of women not being paid equally for equal work. Wash your mouth out with soap for saying such a thing!